Psychologists suggest that to some degree we complain because we’re looking to connect with people who can relate to the universal struggles we all face. I think there’s more to it, though.
When we complain about everything that’s gone wrong or everyone who has done us wrong, we’re drowning in our self-involvement.
It’s an epidemic in an individualistic culture where self-reliance, autonomy, and the pursuit of personal gain can leave us feeling isolated and pressured to succeed. This may not be true for everyone, but I know when I get caught up complaining, nine out of ten times what I need to do is stop obsessing about the circumstances of my life.
You can always find a negative story to tell—some situation when another person was insensitive, selfish, uncaring, unfair, or just plain wrong. You can also find an underlying struggle that doesn’t justify but might explain their behavior. If you absolutely can’t channel that compassion and patience, you can always find at least one good thing someone did in your day.
An even better way to honor our interconnection: be someone else’s positive story. Be the kindness that reminds someone else the world is not against them. Give them an anchor of positivity to find later if their circumstances seem overwhelming. Sit with them in the dark🖤🌙
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